The Humidity King Rides Again

Here’s a little tidbit I learned a month ago from one of the local TV weathermen: In mid-July, Minnesota has the highest average humidity in the entire country. Even more than Florida and Louisiana and some of those other notoriously humid states. Pretty cool, huh?

Minnesota has been experiencing a late August hot and humid streak for a few days now. Yesterday it got up to 94-degrees which isn’t all that hot, but when you add 82% humidity, it sure feels hot. I’ve always been able to adapt to that stuff pretty well, so I headed out for some extensive gravel riding. I felt great while riding on those narrow roads through cornfields under the hot sun. Therein lies the trick humidity plays on you. Everything is fine and dandy as long as you’re moving, but as soon as you stop, sweat starts pouring from every pore you’ve got. And it keeps pouring. And you don’t quite realize how much you’re being dehydrated.

I had planned to write something about it here on Cycle365, but two things prevented me from doing so: 1) I figured that, between Rich and I, you’ve surely seen enough corn pictures, and 2) when I got home I didn’t have enough oom-pah-pah to give my fingers such a workout on the computer. Yes, I was worn out but overall I was just fine. Yet, The Feeshko was so worried about my uncontrollable sweating and my exhaustion that she brought me two cold bottles of water and forced me to drink them and even suggested taking me to the doctor. She’s so cute.

Today is supposed to be the last day of this hot and humid streak, but I’ll tell you a different streak that is still alive and well . . . my consecutive days of cycling streak. It must be well over 160 days now. I should start thinking about some kind of celebration for when I reach the half-year mark.

Anyway, now it’s time to move on to today’s bike ride. There was a nice mix of pavement, gravel, and dirt, but this time I directed myself toward the cooling shade of the forests near the Mississippi River.

Get ready, here come the pictures.

On my way out of town, I noticed the line of cars at the Caribou Coffee drive-thru. I assume they are all ordering iced coffee which, to me, is just plain gross.

A few miles later, I set up this majestic pose of me–high above the Mississippi River– wearing my Caribou Coffee shirt.

Oh yes, the Caribou Coffee pictures were some great stuff, but the best part of my ride began a few hundred feet below that Mississippi River overlook. Check it out.

The favorite part of my ride begins at a remote boat landing. The only way in or out is via a sweet unpaved, uphill ride from river level to the farmland above the bluffs.

At first the road is dirt and sand.

My alter-ego and I made a video on the way up the gravel section.

One of the many nice things about this road is that there were a couple of places where a thirsty bike rider can re-fill his bottle with fresh swamp water.

Another nice thing is this red house, which is one of only two houses on the entire route. The other one is red too.

Here is where the road ends and opens up to the paved county highway. (I almost wanted to speed back down to the landing and ride back up. I had a good joke for G-2, but I’ll save it for next time.)

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

13 response to "The Humidity King Rides Again"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: August 27, 2020

    Good for you getting out in that heat. Glad you got properly hydrated when you got home. I don’t generally like the heat, but in some ways, a little warmth sounds nice. We only got to 59 degrees here today, with rain. Splitting the difference with a temp of about 75 would be about right. Oh, and I’d stay away from that swamp water. There’s probably bugs in there.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 28, 2020

      I’m glad to live in a state that has four distinct seasons (as your state does) and I enjoy riding in every one of them. Sometimes, my bike rides in the extreme heat/cold/rain/snow of those seasons are the most fun of all. At least they provide the greatest sense of accomplishment.

      Bugs in the swamp water? NOW you tell me.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 28, 2020

      I actually took that picture earlier in the month, but never got the chance to use it. I wasn’t sure if anyone would even notice the UFO, but the cloud alone was pretty nice so I posted it today.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: August 28, 2020

    I would say that you are a fortunate man to have the Feeshko to look after you ;’-)

    And congrats on having enough oom pah pah to continues those 160 consecutive days!!

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 28, 2020

      I AM lucky. I’d call her my “Ace Support Crew” but that name has already been assigned to someone else. Next week is The Feeshko’s knee surgery so I will try to be the supportive one for a couple of weeks afterward.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: August 28, 2020

    Just back from a 20 miler with Dave and Dwight — the heat and humidity was building — nice breeze and some clouds helped. Lots of corn and beans, so no pix.
    It has been sweltering here the last few days — getting your T shirt off is a gargantuan effort!

    All the Best on Freeshko’s surgery.

    Took a while,, but! ICD UFO!!

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 28, 2020

      I’m glad you found the UFO too. I know it took some extra effort — kind of like how I had to scan your pictures to find that fox. Once I found it, I felt rewarded. And yes, I think I could write a whole essay about the struggles of trying to gyrate my body every which way to get a shirt off my sticky, sweaty body.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: August 28, 2020

    I had to double check, and so I found the UFO ;’-)

    And Greg —- best wishes for the Feeshko’s surgery And a good recovery.

  5. By: Rocky Posted: August 28, 2020

    Congratulations on your amazing streak! I don’t know how you stand the heat. I don’t like it when it gets over 80. Make sure you don’t get dehydrated.

  6. By: Suzanne Posted: August 29, 2020

    Congrats on riding every day, especially in the heat and humidity! Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of mind stays Greg from the swift completion of his daily rounds.

  7. By: The Navigator Posted: August 30, 2020

    Congratulations on your riding streak!! We don’t have many humid days in summer here, but when we do, I’m always reminded of why I wanted to get out of the Midwest as soon as I could at age 18. I will take 108 and dry over 95 and humid any time. 115? Nah, that just sucks at any humidity level! Well done on your commitment and perseverance!
    All the best to the Feeshko… from my days cleaning/sterilising surgical instruments as a summer job, I can say that the gore that came back on the instrumentation for knee and hip surgeries was not very nice. Don’t tell her that, but please be extra, extra nice to her and help her with the rehab 🙂

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